Listing a home on a Thursday and having a fully executed contract by all parties on Friday is not an easy task in February! This is especially true when the previous real estate broker who listed the home could not sell it. I am going to share my secrets on how I did this for a vacant and outdated home in La Grange Illinois and the buyers did not even have a real estate agent. According to data from MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data), the average market time in La Grange for homes over 4,000 square was 517 days in February 2017 and I sold it in a day!
Let me show you how I did it…
People on the internet will make a split decision whether they are interested in your home. If they click next or not interested, they will likely never see your home ever again.
As a seller, you are entering an online competition with hundreds or thousands of homes for sale. If the photos are not the most brilliant and the highest resolution, your home will be overlooked.
Photos are not enough even if the photos are high resolution and if the home is vacant.
Virtual staging was a big reason why this home sold. Many people cannot visualize an open space like a living room or family room. When I show vacant homes to families, the husband and wife will ask each other “Where are we going to put the couch?” Virtual staging gives them a very good idea for furniture placement but what’s even more important is how the photos look before and after virtual staging. Photos of an empty room typically does not look good, even with the best photographer. There is no megapixel setting on a camera that will make an empty room photo look stunning. Here are some photos before and after we virtually staged the home.
The buyers that purchased this home asked me where the bookcase in the office was and if the owners took all the furniture out of the house. I told the buyers that it was virtual staging and they were surprised because they couldn’t tell. One of my main jobs as an agent is to is to get as many qualified buyers in a home as possible to increase the likelihood of an offer. Virtual staging gets people to schedule showings and shows them the potential a home has.
To really show the power of virtual staging, below is a photo of a distressed home that I listed for one of my investor clients. As you can see, virtual staging makes a huge difference for a home of any price point and condition! It can show a buyer the true potential of any home.
An agent must always be able to accommodate showing requests from other agents and clients at the drop of a dime to ensure that a ready and able buyer does not slip through their fingers and purchase another home.
The buyer that purchased this home, had another offer on a home and had to make a decision on it the following day by 5pm. If me or someone my team was unable to show the buyer my listing the day he called, he would have purchased the other home and we would have lost our buyer.
After showing our end buyer the home, he did not have time to come back to see the house again before making a decision between my listing and the other listing that he originally made an offer on. This is very tough decision for anyone to make after only seeing a house once and the buyer for my listing had to make a very crucial decision. Most people will see a home 2 or 3 times before making a final decision. Time was not a luxury for these buyers and they had to act fast. The buyers were very happy to find out that I invested in a 3D Tour for my listing and I directed them to the properties website which had the link. The 3D tour allowed the buyers to go through the home at their own pace and revisit all the rooms, closets, and spaces. This made the buyers much more comfortable in their decision-making process since they only saw the home once in person, but were able to revisit the home as much and as long as they liked. For this reason, 3D tours are standard on all of my listings.
A 3D tour is the next best thing to actually doing a showing for a home. It allows buyers to virtually walk through a home like they are physically walking through it. It makes it possible for anyone in the world to walk through a home no matter where they are at. Having a 3D tour differentiates your home from any other listing on the market. If a potential buyer is moving from another state/country and does not have time to get on a plane, their only option to purchase a home are ones with 3D tours which is less than 5% of listed homes currently. No matter how good photos are, a person can never really tell how a home feels and what the true layout is. I have shown homes countless times where a buyer will tell me, this isn’t what I thought the home was like or I don’t like the layout. If the home had a 3D tour, it would eliminate this completely because the buyer can virtually walk themselves through a home and take as much time as they like. The website I created for just the 3D tour on this home was www.3dtourluxury.com if you want to see this full screen or with your VR headset. Otherwise you can try it below
When I saw the photo that the previous agent used for the front of the home before I listed it, I told the seller that my first impression of his house was that it did not look like a million dollar home. The reason for this was because the previous photographer took a photo from the very front of the home. It made the home look small because you could not see how deep the house went and a straight on photo was not very impressive. There were lots of trees as well in the front so the only way to get a really good front photo that showed the size of the home was with a drone and from a front/side angle.
THE FRONT PHOTO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PHOTO! If you do not have a really good front photo, a potential buyer will never look at any of the other photos of your home because they will click next or not interested. When a buyer clicks next or not interested, they will likely never see your home again on the internet! Since 95% of home buyers start their search online, the front photo must be attractive enough for a potential buyer to click > to look at the next picture and click > to look at the next picture and click > to look at the next picture until they look at ever single photo and schedule a showing with their Realtor or contact the listing agent directly to do a showing.
Drone photography is not enough for me, if I am going to spend the money on a drone, I also hire a producer, script writer, film crew, and actors to create engaging content for people to watch on the internet. Why do so many advertisers create funny commercials? The reason for it is people do not like being sold to but if it is funny, they will watch the commercial and talk about it over and over again with friends and family. If you can make someone laugh, you will have people watch the video and share it with their friends. The video I created for this home was shared on various real estate websites and gave the home extra exposure a normal video would not have received. Watch the video here:
When most agents tell you that they will create a virtual tour for your home, they are talking about creating a slide show with piano music. NO ONE WATCHES STANDARD VIRTUAL TOURS! No one is going to sit through a slow slideshow that pans photos from left to right when they can click through photos much quicker on their own.
High definition video virtual tours are much different because they are actual video. This allows to show details of the home and has a much different feel than photos and is much more visually appealing. It also allows me to be in it and narrate certain features of the home that photos cannot simply do. I always ask the owner of a home when I do a video which features that they would like highlighted in the video. Watch the high definition here:
Your home should have a custom website built for it. This is a place where potential buyers can look at photos, take a 3D tour, watch the high definition video virtual tour, and watch the drone tour with actors.
I hear real estate agents tell potential buyers to check out their listing on Zillow, Realtor.com, or Redfin. As soon as a potential buyer goes to one of those websites, hundreds of other similar homes get recommended to them. We want potential buyers looking at your home and your home exclusively. All the content we created will keep them engaged with your home. If you live on 123 main st, your agent should create a website 123main.com. See the websites I created by visiting www.1032spring.com and www.3dtourluxury.com
The buyers who purchased this home had family that lived in the neighborhood. 17 times out of 20 a home buyer or buyer’s family lives within a 5 mile radius of the listed home.
That is why grass roots marketing is very powerful because it gets your home in front of people in the community who many times know people who want to move into the neighborhood or live in the neighborhood themselves (parents lived in the neighborhood).
I’ve heard from some of my clients who previously had their homes listed with another agent that the neighbors didn’t even know the home was for sale when it was listed with the previous agent.
Below is what the mailer looked like that went out to over 2,000 homes
I’ve heard a lot of agents tell me that print advertising is dead. Why do they say that? It is because it costs money to do! I create nice brochures and flyers for all my listings.
Here are the facts about print advertising:
Here is some of the print advertising we created for 1032 S Spring which included property business cards, door hangers, large flyers, small flyers, brochures, mailers, and thank you cards.
We create a unique facebook page for your home, similar to the website we created for you. This allows people to interact with your home on social media! People will see photos, the high definition video virtual tour, the 3D tour, and the drone video with actors.
We also run ads to target people that make certain incomes. We were able to get over 20,000 views just on Facebook between all the videos on the page I created for the home and sharing it on my personal page.
Below is a photo example of how Facebook ads and mailers work together to completely saturate a market with your home.
I received testimonials from both sellers
“Josh and his team were highly professional, courteous and knowledgeable. Our first introduction to Josh impressed us with the in-depth go-to-market plan he presented. We knew immediately we were engaged with a leader in the industry who understood our local market climate. He and his team were extremely responsive and helpful throughout the process. Josh has a robust network of professionals that he brings to the table at a moments notice. I have recommended Josh and his team to friends and family.”
“Josh went well above and beyond what a typical real-estate agent! My experiences with prior agents has been marginal at best. In today’s challenging environment selling larger homes can be very difficult. Josh has many different techniques that he utilizes to market and promote the property. Such as a true 360* video, custom video production with real actors that add life to the house, aggressive mailings in the area, targeting marketing via web analytics, property web address, personal Facebook site and business cards for the owners to distribute to their own personal network. In addition to all this Josh is extremely responsive and helpful. If you’re looking for an agent who is going to do more than just push your listing out to the MLS and the internet Josh is your guy. Our 1mm house had an offer in less than 12 hours on the market!!!!”
These are just some of the reasons why I sold it in a day. I aggressively market every single one of my listings whether it is a million-dollar listing or a one bedroom condo. Call/text me at 630-544-1504 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to create a custom marketing plan for your home. If you are intersted in a free home valuation, click here